Cracker Barrel Heads for Hills

Chain Leaves Chicago’s C-K for Home State
ATLANTA–Cracker Barrel Old Country Store restaurants has shifted its business from Cramer-Krasselt to The Buntin Group.
“We are placing individual components of our marketing program with agencies that have a high degree of specialization in specific disciplines,” said vice president of marketing Judy Cantrell.
Buntin, Nashville, Tenn., is also closer to the client’s Lebanon, Tenn., base than C-K’s Chicago operation. The account will be handled by Buntin Out-of-Home Media, a division of the shop.
Director of corporate communications Julie Davies said there was no formal review, but the company did talk with other undisclosed agencies.
Cracker Barrel operates more than 400 restaurants in 37 states. Most are on major highways, making outdoor media crucial. C-K, which won the account in November 1995, had hoped the nonoutdoor portion of the business would grow, but one source familiar with the account said that total had dwindled to well under $2 million.
Both the client and agency said the budget for outdoor was $18 million. Competitive Media Reporting puts the client’s 1998 outdoor ad spending at $7.6 million, and total spending at just under $10 million.
Cadmus Direct Marketing, Charlotte, N.C., and Phoenix Creative, St. Louis, also handle some ad duties for the client.